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Women's health tech "poised for growth," report finds

Illustration of a woman in a hospital gown made from a one hundred dollar bill sitting on an examination bed.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Fueled by rising awareness and global interest, women's digital health is "poised for growth," per a Deloitte and PitchBook report published Tuesday.

Why it matters: A continual flow of venture dollars propels the sector for expansion on par with other health categories in years ahead, the report concludes.

Zoom in: Although women's digital health saw fewer deals in recent months than other segments, the category's resiliency has been powered by the following trends, per the report, which spans 2010 to Q4 2024:

  • Recent participation from corporate and nontraditional investors, which the report says speaks to the sector's broad interest.
  • The successful scaling of several women's health tech companies including reproductive health company Progyny (Nasdaq: PGNY) and maternal health business Maven Clinic.
  • Broader awareness, scientific research and technical progress are also fueling continued growth in the area.

What they're saying: "We're just now getting to a place societally where people recognize that issues [such as menstruation] are a real need and there can be tech-driven solutions," Deloitte & Touche private growth leader Heather Gates tells Axios.

  • "These are early days for this segment," Gates adds. "It has nowhere to go but up."

Follow the money: Corporations and hedge funds, mutual funds and sovereign wealth funds have been more active in women's health tech compared with other venture-backed categories, the report finds.

  • In 2023, corporations participated in 10 financings for a total of $472.4 million.
  • Hedge, mutual and sovereign wealth funds joined in 14 deals in 2023 for an aggregate value $472.4 million.

Such participation not only suggests growth potential but "speaks to the base of health care and pharmaceutical corporate venture arms that is set to remain active" in the sector, the report reads.

  • "When you see that large focus from those groups, it tends to mean the category is being recognized as a global play," says Gates. "That's a real positive in this segment."

The intrigue: Defining the women's health tech category has proven difficult for investors, analysts and founders.

  • The sector spans a broad arena of potential offerings, from digital therapeutics to behavioral health services to physical therapy to tools for reproductive health and menopause.
  • PitchBook, which refers to the sector as "femtech," defines it as "the development or application of technologies pertaining to outcomes around women's health, plus "related new products, services, and technologies aimed at improving and accelerating various use cases and needs for women."

By the numbers: Estimates of the sector's market size differ dramatically.

  • Precedence Research predicts women's digital health to reach $108.8 billion by 2032 while Fortune Business Insights puts it at $20.6 billion by 2030.

What's next: "From a liquidity perspective, there are some mature businesses that may be ready to seize windows of opportunity to finally go public in 2024," Deloitte & Touche audit and assurance partner Angela VanScoy writes in the report.

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